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Friday, 23 November, 2001, 16:17 GMT
U2 Encyclopedia: Your views
Bono
Will U2 fans rush out to buy this book?
A new book titled U2: The Complete Encyclopedia, aims to be "the ultimate guide to the biggest band in the world".

Mark Chatterton, with help from various sources, has spent several years putting the reference book together.

"The detail is impressive, but the prose is plodding and the tone far too reverential - surely even the most dedicated fan would admit that not every song in the band's 25 years has been a classic," wrote BBC News Online's Matthew Slater.

But what do you think?

Is this an essential purchase for U2 fans? Or just one for the music journalist's shelf?

HAVE YOUR SAY

Frankly, there cannot be a definitive book on U2 until the band stops playing. U2 are still very active as a band and will no doubt release more albums in the future. This will mean that a new U2 encyclopedia will be needed in a couple of years time. Of course, dedicated fans will buy this book just as they will buy the next one and the next one. Personally, I prefer to wait.
Mark Schofield, France

Last I heard, Bono and his mates were still going strong. Isn't it a bit premature to write a "complete encyclopedia"?
Robert del Valle, USA

Mr Slater deserves a good slating after the dreadful review he "produced". If he thinks the U2 encyclopedia is poor then I don't know what his idea of spectacular is.
Gerald Croft, England

Being a die hard U2 fan I impress people with my knowledge of the band's history and facts from throughout the years. In a way, I would not feel so smart if everyone were able to get the facts in reading one book that some fans like myself have gathered on our own for years. I just hope the book can tell a story to every fan, die hard or not.
Rico, United States

Matthew Slater doesn't know what he's talking about, and I doubt he's a U2 fan. Whether or not the pictures are "boring", virtually all of them are unreleased. And Chatterton doesn't refer to every song as "a classic". He is very careful to keep his opinions to himself, unlike Slater. This book is an essential purchase for any and every U2 fan. It's just that some people aren't that appreciative.
Arthur Birling, England

To a die-hard U2 fan like myself, every song is a classic. This book is a must-buy for any real U2 fan. I can't wait to get my paws on it. Just one thing though, this is a U2 book right, not just all about Bono? There are four members in the group you know! I love Bono, but come on, you guys are a group!
Leigh, Canada

If you have that attitude about this book you may as well say it about virtually every music book. The fact is that Chatterton has done something different from the usual biographies that keep coming out, and this is something that seems to have taken much longer. I personally think it is an amazing piece of work
Sean Somerville, England

Matthew Slater appears to be totally ignorant of the meaning of the word "encyclopedia". My dictionary defines it as "a book giving information on all or many branches of knowledge".

The key word here is "information". The reason for publishing a U2 Encyclopedia was just that, and not to offer rumour or speculation. Would Mr Slater expect an historical encyclopedia to question Shakespeare's works? I suspect he would only expect the facts about the man.

Rock 'n' roll it may not be, and anyone expecting an Albert Goldman-like hatchet job should certainly look elsewhere. But I suspect most of the band's fans have made up their own minds about the band, and are not, like Mr Slater, expecting an encyclopedia to fulfil expectations it was never designed for in the first place.
Mick Fish, UK

The criticism by Mr Slater is unwarranted and he is never a fan of U2 at all but that is just his opinion, nothing more, nothing less and I respect that. However, as a die-hard U2 fan, I'd read any useful yet informative book about the band and that includes the new "encyclopaedia" book. Its not destined for the Top Ten bestsellers but for both new and old fans, the book would be good value and educational in understanding and, hopefully, be able to follow U2 in the future.
Chris Dougal, London, UK

I found it highly interesting and a great book for both new and hardcore fans. I'd recommend this to anyone interested in the band.
Sam Jordan, Wales

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See also:

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